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Raymond James Reilley, 81, of Aristes, left this world to join the angels in heaven Thursday.
He was a patient of Geisinger Health System for the past 41 days, where his family surrounded him and offered support and love 24 hours a day.
He was born in Byrnesville July 22, 1929. His parents, Michael Sr. and Elizabeth Burke Reilley, proceeded him in their pursuit of heaven.
He attended Conyngham Township School.
He was a medic in the 1st Cavalry Division in the Korean War and spent six months in Korea and a year in Japan.
He married the former Rita Ozelek on June 9, 1956, at St. Joseph Church, Mount Carmel, with the Rev. Joseph Zedanowicz presiding.
He was a lifelong resident of Byrnesville and Aristes, and a member of the Church of Our Lady, Mount Carmel, and Centralia American Legion Post 608.
Raymond spent his life in service to his community of Centralia. He became a member of the Centralia Fire Company in 1972. He earned his EMT and was an active member of the ambulance squad, serving the Centralia area 24 hours a day until he was physically unable to perform his duties when he became ill one year ago.
He loved tending his tomato plants and he would purchase many plants for all his family and friends. He would then make sure all the plants were well attended and would give advice if the plants were not faring well when he would visit.
He loved creating oil paintings. He painted portraits of his grandchildren and local scenery. He attended many years of art school at the Technology Center at North Schuylkill High School.
He loved the show "M*A*S*H*" as it brought back fond memories of the friends he left behind in Korea.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, William and Patrick; brothers-in-law, Robert Tarlecki and Leonard Birney.
Surviving are daughters, Aliceann and her companion, Dave Glowatski, Wilburton, and Rita Marie and son-in-law, Jeffery Long, Aristes; grandchildren, Jessica Long, Shamokin, Coty Long, at home in Aristes, and Haley Rae Mazur, Wilburton; great-grandchildren, Shiylah and Jayce Long, Shamokin; siblings include Mary Theresa Tarlecki, Aristes, James and Doris Reilley, Aristes, Elizabeth "Betty" Birney, Missville, Va., Michael and Brunina, Elysburg; sister-in-law, Janye Reilley, Royersford; and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews, too numerous to mention.
He will be terribly missed by his dog, Rusty.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Church of Our Lady, Mount Carmel. Interment will be in St. Ignatius Cemetery, Centralia. Viewing will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday and 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at his home, 100 N. Erin Road, Aristes. Joseph J. Stutz Funeral Home Inc., Mount Carmel, Joseph J. Stutz III, supervisor, has charge of arrangements. Sign the guest book at www.stutzfuneralhome.com.
Published in Republican & Herald on April 9, 2011